Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Afrucan, Ethnicity, Culture, Condom Use

Major Advisor

Nancy A. Humphreys, DSW

Associate Advisor

SUsan Witte, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Catherine Medina, Ph.D.

Field of Study

Social Work


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among all African American/black women in the U.S necessitates a more in depth response and investigation into all the factors which may heighten women’s risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. Although African American women’s risk has been explored along several variables, there remains a gap in research knowledge around the effects of ethnicity on the rate of infection among African American/black women living in the U.S. Understanding the etiology of HIV/AIDS this diverse group is critical in developing effective prevention strategies. The term African-American/black was replaced with African descent within the main body of this dissertation to reflect a more appropriate representation of the ethnic diversity found within this racial category.

The goal of this study was to examine whether there are important cultural differences in the empowerment of African Jamaican and African American women that impact their condom use intentions. The theoretical framework included social identity theory, ethnic identity theory, empowerment theory, the theory of reasoned action. A cross-sectional survey design was utilized. The Ethnicity Power Condom Use Survey was administered to 102 African-American and African Jamaican women. Along with interviews, qualitative interviews were conducted with six African Jamaican women to develop a better understanding of their condom use experiences and beliefs. The phenomenological approach was used to guide the exploration of women’s lived experiences. These qualitative interviews can help to fill the gap in the literature around African Jamaican women’s condom use beliefs and patterns. Although the major hypotheses posed in this study were not fully supported, qualitative results highlight the necessity of breaking the racial category African American/black. Results reveal that the more acculturated women become the lower their condom use intentions. Women’s power in relationships was not related to their condom use self-efficacy nor their condom use intentions. Qualitative findings show that African Jamaican women’s feelings of commitment in relationships were a major barrier to condom negotiation and desire. African Jamaican women also lacked important condom use negotiation strategies and critical knowledge around HIV testing protocol. Implications for social work education, research, practice, and for prevention among African Jamaican women are advanced.